A majestic Middle-earth elopement in New Zealand

A majestic Middle-earth elopement in New Zealand


The Offbeat Bride: Jamie Lee, English Teacher

Her offbeat partner: Kyle, History Teacher

Date and location of wedding: Humboldt Mountains, Glenorchy, New Zealand - June 10, 2016

Our offbeat wedding at a glance:

When Kyle and I began talking about our wedding and how we would like it to be, we both had two very different visions. Kyle is an extrovert and wanted a large wedding in our hometown with all of our family and friends. I am the opposite. I wanted a small intimate elopement on top of a mountain in New Zealand where they filmed The Lord of the Rings. I wanted to feel like I was journeying across Middle-earth with the one I love. I wanted our wedding to be an adventure.

With both of us wanting different things for our wedding, we finally decided to do both. We had a big LoTR-themed wedding (see it here!) in our hometown, and then we traveled to New Zealand for our Middle-earth elopement. It may sound cheesy, but our entire elopement was a highlight. I can't possibly choose just one part of it, although I did love the cloak that was made for me, the rainbow, the helicopter ride, and feeling like we were getting married at the top of the world.

Tell us about the ceremony:

On the day of our ceremony, I woke up to a package delivered to our hotel door. Inside the box was a cloak made by the people who made the cloaks for the Lord of the Rings movies. Kyle and I got ready and traveled to Glenorchy, NZ to meet our photographer, Dawn. It had been raining the entire day and we were afraid that we would not be able to have the ceremony. By the time that we reached Glenorchy, the rain had cleared and the most beautiful rainbow was streaked across the sky.

We went to HeliGlenorchy to get on a helicopter and go up to the Humboldt Mountains. It was both of our first times being in a helicopter, and flying above Lake Wakatipu and the Humboldt Mountains was an experience I cannot possibly put into words. The beauty of it was astounding. We landed on the snowy upper Humboldt Mountains where Kyle and I trekked through the snow in our wedding outfits.

We stood on a rock amidst the snow so that she could photograph us but not hear us. It was then that Kyle and I said our vows to each other. We believe that marriage is love that is affirmed to the universe, and standing there atop a mountain saying our vows to one another is the closest I have ever felt to speaking to the universe.

Tell us about your reception:

We didn't have a traditional reception. We went in our wedding outfits to a small pub and celebrated. We drank, ate pub food, and shared laughter. It was simple, easy, intimate, and exactly what I had envisioned.

What was your most important lesson learned?

The most important lesson I learned is to always listen to your partner's wants and needs for the wedding, compromise, and don't be afraid to make your fantasy adventures come to life. Kyle and I are different in a lot of ways, which is great because we balance each other out. Deciding to have both the wedding and the elopement was the best decision for us.

I also learned that your wedding may just be one of the best times to do that thing you've always been wanting to do. Always wanted to walk the path the Mordor? Always wanted to see the Grand Canyon? Set up a honeymoon fund, start a savings account if you can, and book that trip. Start living your dreams with the person you love.



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